Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 05, 2005

For the Record

Transcripts of two German TV reports on Bush´s Potemkin visit.

Reports shown in German TV about the "staged" Presidential visit in Biloxi on September 1.

The first report can be seen here.

It was broadcasted during the news show "Tagesschau" of the German channel ARD September 2, 2005 between 8:00pm and 8:15pm. The timestamp of the online clip is September 2, 2005, 09:03pm (GMT+2).

The news show Tagesschau is THE prime and prime-time German news show with a regular attendency of 20-25% of TV viewers. On Friday Sep. 2. the attendance was 4.98 million viewers or 20.7% of all TV viewers in Germany at that time.

The station ARD is publicly financed, but independent from administrative and political influence.

The reporter on the ground is Christine Adelhardt, a regular professional ARD correspondent, usually stationed in Washington DC.

My transcript:

Christine Adelhardt stand-up report near Biloxi:

"Here, just two minutes ago, the President drove by with his convoy. But what happened here throughout the day in Biloxi is really unbelievable. Suddenly salvage groups appeared here, suddenly clearing vehicles were here. Those had not be seen here all the days before and this in area where it really would not be greatly necessary to clean up (now) because nobody is living here (now), far and wide, anymore. The people are (now) further inside the city.

The president travels with a press baggage. With this, the press baggage has very pretty pictures which thereby are supposed to say the president has been there and the help will come too.

The extent of the natural catastrophe had me shocked  but the extend of the (theatre) staging today does shock me to at least the same level.

With this back to Hamburg."

The second report is from the German TV station ZDF. Also publicly financed and independent like the ARD, the ZDF has its own reporters, finances and is independent of ARD. Its prime and prime time news show is "Heute" and the longer daily "Heute Journal".

The piece was broadcasted on "Heute Journal" on September 2, 2005 at about 09:45pm (GMT+2). The regular reach of "Heute Journal" is some 4.8 Million viewers.

The video is here. (For me it only did work using IE and Media Player - your mileage may vary)

The 5 minutes long report starts with pictures and sound of "hundreds of people shooting `help, help´" and pictures from the NO convention centre showing a person hit by an acute diabetes sugar shock and dead bodies and followed by Ray Nagin's rant and picture of Bush in the area.

The professional, experienced ZDF reporter Claudia Rüggeberg, usually stationed in Washington DC, is on the grounds in Biloxi. The ancor-reporter dialog starts 03:24 minutes into the clip.

The first question from the ancor is how the people reacted to the presidents visit. Rüggeberg reports a positive and a negative voice.

At 03:55 into the clip she says:


"Actually it was such today that this morning suddenly help crew showed up, people who cleaned out the rubble, that searched the houses for dead body. And this exclusively along the route of the president. About two hours ago than, the president left Biloxi and with him all the help crews."

The clip goes on with a question from the anchor of what is available and Rüggenberg reporting nothing is available and nothing has happened except the clean up done that morning by the help crews and a medical emergency outpost is somewhere and nothing else. It smells from rotten corpse, the dead lie in the houses and the help does not arrive she reports.

(Note: I am native German living in Germany and often work with U.S. companies. My transcripts are not professional but usually I get the language, if not the spelling, correct.)

Posted by b on September 5, 2005 at 0:15 UTC | Permalink


Reports continue that communications in and around New Orleans are being purposely jammed (and severed) by the US government (see Sep. 2 article below). The jamming is having an adverse impact on emergency, disaster recovery, and news media communications.

The jamming is even affecting police radio frequencies in Jefferson Parish, according to an Australian news report. The President of Jefferson Parish Aaron Broussard told Meet the Press today that FEMA cut his parish's emergency communications lines and he had to have his sheriff restore the severed lines and post armed deputies to ensure that FEMA did not try to cut the communications lines again. Broussard's statement: "Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, 'No one is getting near these lines.'"

more at the link...

also, this sounds like a power play between fed and states rights... w/ lives on the line.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 5 2005 0:36 utc | 1

Another German TV station, this one a commercial news station and unrelated to the others, is reporting:

Im schwer zerstörten Biloxi im US-Bundesstaat Mississippi war außer den Sicherheitskräften keine Menschenseele auf der Straße zu sehen - abgesehen von zwei jungen, attraktiven Afroamerikanerinnen, die Bush sofort an seine Brust drückte. Im überfluteten New Orleans landete sein Hubschrauber filmreif direkt neben dem knapp 100 Meter langen Dammbruch.

Rush translation:

Except the security personal there was nobody to be seen in the heavily destroyed Biloxi in the US State of Mississippi - except of two young, attractive, female afro-americans, who Bush immediately hugged. In the flooded New Orleans his helicopoter landed movie-like right next to the 300 feet long levee breach.

Posted by: b | Sep 5 2005 0:52 utc | 2

The Guardian:

Left to sink or swim Tragic events in New Orleans have laid bare America's bigotry and exposed the lie of equal opportunity

Posted by: b | Sep 5 2005 1:05 utc | 3

@Uncle $cam -

on WWL TV, the local NO station, during the last days, they had twice someone on from the FBI in NO who both times said.
- The FBI was there during the storm and flooding
- They protected "important infrastructure" related to "national security"
- As an example he gave "communication facilities"

Any ideas on this?

Posted by: b | Sep 5 2005 1:11 utc | 4

A New Orleans singer crouches and tells a horrifying tale. "If we could've evacuated we would've. We didn't deserve this."

b, I've been searching for more info on that, haven't run across anything, nota. My internet signal has been coming and going for several days which has vastly hampered my seach cap.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 5 2005 1:21 utc | 5

The black women in Biloxi that Bush hugged were Young Republican operatives, related to Condi.
(kidding... I wouldn't put it past RNC spin'rs.)
When I see Biloxi news reals, I see white people.

Anyway, one insurance rating company says, Under $25B, one says, $50B, another says, Over $100B!!

"Later Thursday, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said that damage from Hurricane Katrina could reach $50 billion once damage to bridges, roads and other public infrastructure is taken into account.

However, RMS said that extensive damage caused by the twin events, wind and flood, make it likely
the insured costs will soar above $100B.

What about *uninsured* costs of reconstruction!?
What about costs of a major US economic downturn?

If folks take a page from Silverstein's play- book, (the leasee of the World Trade Centers), they'll sue the carriers for double indemnity.
And win, you would think ... Silverstein did.
Maybe Bush will pass an insurance damage cap?

There *is* no $100B+ floating around in WA DC.
It's all in gold bullion in some Swiss Bank.
Periodically our missing $100B's in taxes are used to buy pol's homes for $1M more than they
are worth, and then take a capital gains loss
against options profits made on HAL-KBR stock. %)

Will someone please put a notice on the Red
Cross bulletin board to keep an eye out for it?
I want my taxes back, to donate to New Orleans, not have it IDIQ'd cost+ to HAL-KBR ... again!

Right now, some $100,000,000 of your taxes is being floated on Madison Avenue for the best
paid political advertising that money can buy,
and Cheney is talking by satellite phone with
oil executives about a *tax-payer bailout* for
the 40 lost platforms and 3 drilling rigs. %)

Strap yourself on, Gertie, it's gonna get choppy!

Posted by: lash marks | Sep 5 2005 1:42 utc | 6

Has anyone heard from 'bama lately? seems like there is a palpable absence of posts from him in the last few days.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 5 2005 1:53 utc | 7

Hey! Don't expect logic and common sense to play a role. Two events (Hurricane Katrina and what is now being dubed The Great New Orleans Flood) mean more deductibles and more layers to share the costs to say nothing of the litgation to follow.

I just wonder how much help we get from our friends and allies around the world and the UN. America always helps others after natural disasters but will we be on our own for the most part? Yes, I'm embarrassed as an America with the looting and crime but at the same time, close to one million may lose home, work, history and a piece of their identity. And this is on top of the 1,000 lives.

Wow! Meanwhile, certain hotels in Tallahassee evict refugees so registered guests can come to town for an FSU/Miami football game. Misplaced priorities?? Why not sell your tickets on e-Bay? Donate to charity and let the refugees keep the rooms.

I wonder when & where we lost our sense of right and wrong and goodwill towards men in America.

Posted by: Jimbob | Sep 5 2005 2:07 utc | 8

No is Fallujah: 'Five shot dead' in New Orleans

New Orleans Deputy Police Chief WJ Riley said the shooting took place while 14 contractors were crossing the Danziger Bridge under police escort.

The contractors came under fire from a group of armed thugs and police officers shot back, killing at least five of them.

None of the contractors was killed.

Contractors you see - there were not enough knowledgeable people in the city to do the job - we needed contracters and we needed to shoot the locals to get out of the way. This is just the start ...

Posted by: b | Sep 5 2005 2:16 utc | 9

To Jimbob -

I don't know if you were kidding about the help offered from other countries - but over 50 have offered to help.

Venezuela was supposed to have been the first one (offered 2 field hospitals, 100 plus search and rescue & first aid people, 26 tons of medicine, $1 million directly to the state, etc. There was no reply, so Venezuela made the offer again. Cuba twice offered 1100 doctors, 100 to arrive immediately in Houston airport, the rest over two following days. The first offer from Vancouver in Canada was refused, so I heard, but the offer was repeated and this time accepted. You can search the web for details of these and other country & UN offers.

The response from the US has been either very slow or dead silence. The US fed. govt. response has been just as bad/slow as the help given to New Orleans.

There is a possible explanation for the slowness - if these countries like Sweden help out, then there will be less work and less profit for Halliburton.

Posted by: Owl | Sep 5 2005 3:03 utc | 10

Five dead 'were army workers'

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Sep 5 2005 3:41 utc | 11

Tonight on HBO'S Rome Caesar"Crossed the Rubicon" and started the end of the Republic(we know the end of the story)! While our present Caesar(s) haven't yet did such a symbolic act,they haven't had to! They have been inching forward day by day and are now in Rome. While they let us, all we can do is talk,debate,whine and cry! We have to face it! The Republic is gone!After they stole elections in 2000,2002,2004, do we think things will be any different in 2006,2008? The will of the people HAHAHAHA! All we can do is figure out how we and our loved ones will live through what is coming!......Yours in Peace(and some smoke and a lot of Rum)......R.L.

Posted by: R.L. | Sep 5 2005 3:55 utc | 12

sounds like the communication lines are being cut or jammed to control/limit "bad" news coming out of these areas. as in body counts, maybe?

DeAnander- haven't seen a post from Alabama for a number of weeks now, around the time rove was feeling the heat from the plame outing. (not trying to infer any connection w/ his absence)

would like to find out which contractors those were on the bridge. blackwater usa? you'd think they'd have an aversion to bridges...

this whole series of events over the last week just doesn't make sense. i know there are some posters who would like to chalk everything up to incompetence, but i keep having this gnawing feeling that we're just rats in a lab. rather than ovens & gas chambers, there's global warming to purge the homeland & expand the living room.

Posted by: b real | Sep 5 2005 4:41 utc | 13


I knee-jerked at the word contractors, too. After I read it, it seemed as likely that contractor just meant what it did in the good old days before Hallburton, people hired to do a job 00 likely local people not on the municipal payroll.

I have no way of knowing this.

Posted by: eftsoons | Sep 5 2005 5:51 utc | 14

well, it is the largest port in the US. maybe they wanted mass devastation so somebody could bulldose it , evict all the riff raff, and take control. wonder who would want to own that land?
i put nothing past them.

Posted by: annie | Sep 5 2005 5:53 utc | 15

I take it back. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Had not seen that latest link to contractor news.

Posted by: eftsoons | Sep 5 2005 5:54 utc | 16

b real, might check through the threads more carefully. I don't think incompetence is the consensus here at all. Rather time to switch paradigms about nature of the state & society. Just got our eyes washed out w/lye. Been a very painful time.

Posted by: jj | Sep 5 2005 6:22 utc | 17

Occam and Elagabalus

Occam's Razor for bureaucracy *always* slices
into a black heart of venality and incompetence.
Always. Never doubt sheer, utter, incompetence.

An interesting parallel, Islam since Abraham has
worshipped a black stone in the Kabaa of Mecca.
This may originate from Roman times, at Emesa in
Syria, where there was a large black conical
stone which was said to have fallen from the sky
and bore the Phoenician name of Elagabalus.

It was popularly supposed to be an image of the
Sun, and was lodged in a great temple resplendent
with gold and silver and precious stones. The god
received the homage not only of the natives but
of distant peoples, whose governors and kings
sent costly offerings every year to the shrine.

(Sounds like the Sultans of DC, doesn't it?)

Among the soldiers of a great Roman camp pitched
in the neighbourhood they used to visit the
temple and admire the handsome young priest when,
wearing a jewelled crown and arrayed in gorgeous
robes of purple and gold, he tripped gracefully
in the dance round the altar to the melody of
pipes and flutes and other musical instruments.

(Sounds like Saint George and his guitar)

This dainty priest of the Sun, then in the full
bloom of youth and beauty, and resembling, we are
told, ideal portraits of the youthful Bacchus,
was the future Roman Emperor Elagabalus, the most
dissolute reprobate who ever sat upon a throne.

(Ahh, it is about George!)

On being elevated, at age fourteen, to the
imperial dignity by the intrigues of his artful
grandmother and the favour of the soldiers, the
stripling, whose original name was Bassianus,
assumed the style of barbarous god Elagabalus.

Further, the young *fanatic* caused the black
stone fetish of the deity to be transported
from Emesa to Rome, where he built a great and
stately temple for it on the Palatine beside the
imperial palace. The site had formerly been
occupied by the genuine old Roman god Orcus.

Round about the temple were set up many altars,
on which every morning hecatombs of bulls and
sheep were slaughtered, incense of all sorts was
piled, and jars of the oldest and finest wines
were poured, so that streams of mingled blood and
wine flooded the pavement.

(Sure sounds the Bush Administration, don't it?)

And round the altar on the ensanguined pavement
danced the emperor and a choir of Syrian damsels
with clashing cymbals and droning drums, while
the knights and senators stood looking on in a
great circle, and the entrails of the sacrificed
victims and the perfumes were carried in golden
jars on the heads, not of menials and servitors,
but of captains of armies and ministers of state,
arrayed in loose-sleeved robes and linen shoes of
Syrian prophets; for among all these degenerate
nobles it was deemed the highest honour to be
allowed to participate in the sacrifice.

(Sounds like a $2M Dick Cheney birthday party!)

Rome was utterly destroyed shortly after that.

Now here today, in the "modern" Christian world, our own Emperor George "Bassianus" Bush and his sotted Senators, circle an even darker effigy, crude oil, king coal, and now black tar sands.

Dick Cheney is up in Calgary, ready to celebrate a $100,000,000,000 development program to extract crude oil from the tar sands, for an estimated cost of only $5 per ton of tar sand, yielding one barrel of oil, yielding 28 gallons of gasoline.

For roughly 20c per gallon, on top of the 80c per gallon to refine the gasoline, or $1 per gallon, the Emperor and his cronies can exact a tithe of 200% from their subjects in fealty fees. Or more!

Literally $T's in sacrifice from one black stone.
Seas will rise tens of feet. The poles will melt.
Maybe the dinosaurs will rule the earth again!?

Maybe that black rock of Esema fell from the gods in a cosmic dominoes game, and they laughed so hard it spouted tears of crude oil and tar sand.
Maybe someone at the god's cocktail party stirred their drink a bit too hard, and created Katrina.

It all comes down to Kismet, the will of Allah.

Posted by: tante aime | Sep 5 2005 6:29 utc | 18

We need to be very careful about off loading all responsibility for this genocide on to the Feds. Even if the deaths of New Orleans poor are shown to be the result of deliberate acts by FEMA and co it has only occured because of the underlying fear and hostility middle Amerika feels towards African Amerikans.

The fact that the repugs imagine they will get away with this tells us that Rove and co may know white Amerikans better than white Amerikans know themselves.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 5 2005 7:49 utc | 19

To be fair DiD, it's pretty clear a lot of smarter republicans think they're not going to get away with it: witness Gingrich and some other turning on the regime.

Posted by: Colman | Sep 5 2005 8:22 utc | 20

I realise how harsh it sounds and I have written thousands of unposted words on this over the last week. Unposted because it is easy to criticise others on issues like this. People in my country frequently defend the low life expectancy of Maori with tales of Australian Aboriginal massacres.

I tried to get away from all of this last night and attempted to watch network TV. It was exclusively Bruckheimer 'crime' drama and I had a minor ephinany as I saw African Amerikans portrayed as either sociopathic criminals or people so'perfect' that there was a subtext of "we're putting this in to keep the PC set quiet. Don't worry everyone can see that these people don't exist and in reality all are sociopathic felons."

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 5 2005 9:06 utc | 21

Typepad is out of hand again accusing me of spamming here's the last para of what I just couldn't post.

These shows are on TV because lots of people watch them and lap them up. In other words Amerikan culture routinely tells the world that African Amerikans are looters. Then we all say "how dare they" once the Federal Government treats the new Orleans poor just like felons. I'm surprised that the dry clothes being handed out in Houston weren't orange overalls. They certainly had metal detectors and 'bulls' more indicative of visiting at the penetentiary than comfort for hungry
homeless citizens.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 5 2005 9:09 utc | 22

Compassion and sorrow for our fellow human beings in New Orleans (no man is an island ..don't ask for whom the bell tolls)
Great loath disgust and rage for America Inc.

And what next? is Bush going to invade Heaven to punish God for sending Katrina to attack America?

Posted by: feruz a worried old European | Sep 5 2005 9:26 utc | 23

- The FBI was there during the storm and flooding
- They protected "important infrastructure" related to "national security"
- As an example he gave "communication facilities"

Interdictor blog may be what you are talking about. He runs the 11th largest domain name registrar in the world. If it goes down it takes a lot of the internet with it. He got barrels of fuel for generators delivered when no one else could.

By the way folks, if you want to see how hopelessly prejudiced and clueless most American's are, read some of the comments on this blog. It is not a political blog, so I think that one can consider the posters more of a fair cross
section of the population.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 5 2005 11:42 utc | 24

the 11th largest domain name registrar in the world. If it goes down it takes a lot of the internet with it.

No way this would take the Internet down. DNS services are mirrored.

No, the FBI guy had something other in mind. Is there an NSA installation in NO?

Posted by: b | Sep 5 2005 11:55 utc | 25

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